Dorsal hippocampus involvement in trace fear conditioning with long, but not short, trace intervals in mice

Behav Neurosci. 2005 Oct;119(5):1396-402. doi: 10.1037/0735-7044.119.5.1396.


Placing a "trace" interval between a warning signal and an aversive shock makes consolidation of the memory for trace conditioning hippocampus dependent. To determine the trace at which memory consolidation requires the hippocampus, mice were trained with 0-s, 1-s, 3-s, or 20-s trace intervals and tested for freezing to context and tone. Posttraining dorsal hippocampus (DH) lesions decreased context conditioning regardless of trace interval. However, DH lesions attenuated only the 20-s trace tone freezing. Like eyeblink conditioning, the DH is necessary for trace fear conditioning only at long trace intervals, but the time scale for the effective interval in fear conditioning is about 40 times longer. Manipulations that alter trace fear conditioning with short trace intervals probably do not reflect altered DH function. Given this difference in time scale along with the use of posttraining DH lesions, hippocampus dependency of trace conditioning is not related to a bridging function or response timing.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Conditioning, Psychological / physiology*
  • Cues
  • Fear / physiology*
  • Freezing Reaction, Cataleptic / physiology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Reflex, Startle / physiology
  • Time Factors